Saturday, May 29, 2010

"We're Too Far Removed..."

Overheard in the grocery store yesterday: "Isn't that oil spill business a scary situation?"

"Oh, we're too far removed from it for it to affect us."

I wanted to walk between the tomato and banana displays and cuff that nit wit. But, what's the point? I'd be talking to another person who resides in La, La Land. So, I pushed my cart toward the back of the store while muttering "What a clueless dim wit."

IMO there's very little in this world that doesn't affect us sooner or later. Thanks to globalization, break neck consumption and out sourcing to foreign countries today's existence is a giant web. Loosen the string in one place and the whole thing begins to unravel.

The woman's remark reminded me of those who believe Michigan's Upper Peninsula is "insulated" from the rest of the world. Another myth.

True some maps forget to include the U.P. But everything in this world is dependent on oil. Everything. You may garden and save seeds from last year but, I'll bet you used a tiller to plow your garden. The tiller takes the same fuel that was used to manufacture and deliver it to your local dealership. That store heats and cools its building with fuel and - if you're like most Americans - your vehicle used fuel to take you to the store. Take things a bit further and you must realize that the car is made of parts manufactured using fuel, as are your clothes, the razor you used this morning, the makeup you probably wear, the food you ate and the pavement you drove on to pick up your tiller. Unless you ordered it in which case you still didn't avoid fuel.

What appears simplistic - planting a seed in the ground - is connected to more complex systems. Even when you harvest your crop, you'll likely use electricity or propane to process/cook what you harvested. The implements you use to complete these tasks required fuel to make them, as did the soap suds you wash them with, the towel you dry them with and the cupboards you place them in.

And therein lies the problem. We fail to see the connections/consequences of our daily actions. The attitude in this country is: "as long as I get my (food, clothes, shelter, heat, entertainment) I'm not going to worry. It's somebody elses problem."

Reminds me of the dumb ass neighbors behind us. As long as they could dump, hunt, poach, party, or store their things on our land, they were not affected. When we installed a fence their use of our land ended. From their perspective we've changed their whole world.

I drove home yesterday along the Portage Canal which flows between Houghton and Hancock. I couldn't help but wonder how that dim wit would feel if a red slick covered the water, the beaches were closed and Peterson's Fish Market closed down.

4 comments:

Did it MY way said...

No place is safe today. The powers to be here in Florida just keep telling folks our beaches are clean and safe. Just come on down. Well for how long? Idiots.

What will the price be for no seafood?

God help us all.

See Ya.

vlad said...

Tree, I read your blog daily because you have rare good sense.
Does Sweetie know how lucky he is that you chose him?
My other favourite frugal blogger is Jim Dakin who writes the Bison Survival Blog.

Mayberry said...

It is amazing just how clueless some people are...

Kyddryn said...

A week ago I set out to discover how much petroleum went into the making of one thing, an exercise in awareness. I chose a Ziploc bag, one gallon freezer size, since I use (and re-use) them quite a bit. I'm still not done tallying. I may never finish.

It is disheartening to think about how distanced people have made themselves from their impact through cosumption. What, they think elves and fairies are magically making this stuff?

Sigh.

You showed admirable constraint, ma'am, by walking on rather than at least unleashing a vehement lecture on the silly twit.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K